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Toronto mayor: 'I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not a drug addict'

Nov. 4, 2013 at 5:15 PM   |   Comments

TORONTO, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford again said he has no intentions of resigning, declaring, "I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not a drug addict."

Toronto police last week confirmed it had obtained a video Ford long denied exists. The Toronto Star and the U.S. website Gawker have both said individuals approached them and tried to sell them the video. Both outlets said they have viewed the video and it appears to show Ford smoking out of a crack pipe.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp., said Monday Ford again called on Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair to release the video and let the public decide what it shows. He made the same plea on his weekly radio show Sunday.

Ford has had a history of public embarrassments, including appearing drunk at the Taste of the Danforth festival in August. Similar reports emerged following a St. Patrick's Day party at his office in March.

Ford apologized -- though he didn't say specifically for what -- and pledged to curtail his public drinking.

"I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not a drug addict," Ford said. "If I had I problem, I'd be the first one to say I'm not fit to run the city. ... Have I drank a little too much at times? You're absolutely right. Am I going to curb that? Absolutely I'm going to curb that."

Toronto officials expressed skepticism that Ford's apology was enough to move past the crack-smoking video scandal.

"Is he sorry that he appears to be using drugs? Is he sorry that he appears to be dealing with drug dealers?" asked Councilwoman Sarah Doucette.

Councilman James Pasternak, a member of Ford's executive committee, said an apology and pledge not to drink in public wasn't enough to make the problem go away.

"The game plan he outlined yesterday doesn't really address the political crisis we're facing," he said.

Despite the uproar, Ford's approval ratings actually went up in a poll conducted last week.

A Forum Research survey released at the end of the week showed his approval rating jumped 5 percent -- from 39 percent to 44 percent -- even though 98 percent of the respondents were aware of the allegations. The Forum Research poll was conducted late Thursday after a police news conference on the alleged incident. A total of 1,032 Toronto residents were surveyed with a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Topics: Bill Blair
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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